TCR and Inflammatory Signals Tune Human MAIT Cells to Exert Specific Tissue Repair and Effector Functions.
Leng T., Akther HD., Hackstein C-P., Powell K., King T., Friedrich M., Christoforidou Z., McCuaig S., Neyazi M., Arancibia-Cárcamo CV., Hagel J., Powrie F., Oxford IBD Investigators None., Peres RS., Millar V., Ebner D., Lamichhane R., Ussher J., Hinks TSC., Marchi E., Willberg C., Klenerman P.
MAIT cells are an unconventional T cell population that can be activated through both TCR-dependent and TCR-independent mechanisms. Here, we examined the impact of combinations of TCR-dependent and TCR-independent signals in human CD8+ MAIT cells. TCR-independent activation of these MAIT cells from blood and gut was maximized by extending the panel of cytokines to include TNF-superfamily member TL1A. RNA-seq experiments revealed that TCR-dependent and TCR-independent signals drive MAIT cells to exert overlapping and specific effector functions, affecting both host defense and tissue homeostasis. Although TCR triggering alone is insufficient to drive sustained activation, TCR-triggered MAIT cells showed specific enrichment of tissue-repair functions at the gene and protein levels and in in vitro assays. Altogether, these data indicate the blend of TCR-dependent and TCR-independent signaling to CD8+ MAIT cells may play a role in controlling the balance between healthy and pathological processes of tissue inflammation and repair.